Alva Airport Commission considers expired highway department lease
March 19, 2023
On March 6, 1962, the City of Alva signed a lease agreement with the Oklahoma State Highway Department for the northeast corner of city airport land that had been transferred to the city by the U.S. government through the War Assets Administrator on July 17, 1947. The 1962 lease agreement was for a period of 50 years with the state to pay one dollar per year. The lease expired in 2012 and has not been renewed, but the highway department still uses the property for a building and storage of supplies and equipment.
Monday night during the Alva Airport Commission meeting, Mayor Kelly Parker talked about renewing the expired lease. He said the lease renewal should be for the "going rate" and not one dollar per year. Commission Chairman Dale Logsdon said that over the years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has "given us flack" about the lease being too low.
Commission member Paul Kinzie agreed the airport needs to bring the lease up to date like they recently did with commercial leases on airport property. Parker said the highway department is non-commercial and non-aviation. He added that any lease should have an escalation clause to increase over the years. He said he knows the highway department pays thousands of dollars a month in Beaver County for their lease. Kinzie said the FAA wants everybody to be the same, to be consistent.
No action was taken on the lease. Parker indicated a proposed lease agreement will be brought before the commission at a later date.
Mayor Parker, who is also a member of the airport commission, reported the city is working on next year's budget. He said wages will be one of the main things being considered.
The city's General Fund is in the black by $105,000 as of the end of February. Parker said this means the city can pay back borrowed airport funds by the end of the fiscal year June 30. All of those funds would be transferred into the separate airport checking account, but some may then need to be transferred back to the pooled cash account to pay monthly airport bills.
At the end of February, the pooled cash account held over $400,000 of airport funds. The airport checking account has $634,749.97. In addition the airport has $444,328.42 invested in CD's. Much of the airport money is from earmarked FAA grants being stockpiled for future airport projects.
Logsdon said it "seems like it would be simpler to track if airport funds are in the checking account for the airport." Parker spent some time explaining. City bills for all departments are all paid through the pooled cash account. And when money comes in, it is all deposited in the pooled cash account. But the city's accounting system tracks which revenue and expenses belong to the airport and how much of the pooled cash belongs to the airport.
"I don't know if we have enough staff to handle two check writing systems," Parker said. He explained that the city office is staffed by three people. The problem disclosed by the FY18-19 audit was that pooled cash information "wasn't reported to anybody." That's no longer the case, said the mayor.
Parker said in addition to pooled cash, the city has six other separate accounts. Those are a savings account, a pool donation account, an ARPA cash account, a 522 (EMS) account, and an airport checking account. In the pooled cash are 14 different city entities.
He said one of the biggest issues in the FY18-19 audit was the basis used. There methods are accrual, cash and modified cash. The city was using the accrual method which delayed audit completion. For example, the FY19-20 audit wasn't completed until October 2021. The city has now moved to the modified cash basis. Any purchase orders not completed at the end of the fiscal year are canceled and then moved to the following year. This will allow audits to be completed more quickly. This year the city is using a new auditing firm so it was a little slower, but the audit should be completed more quickly in the future.
Airport Manager's Report
Manager Derrick Courson said the airport had total sales of $40,484.66 in February compared to last year's sales of $26,346.17 in the same month. During February, the airport sold 2,676.31 gallons of 100LL fuel for $12,555.95 and 6,054 gallons of Jet-A for $27,681.25. The remaining $247.46 came from oil sales.
Courson said he contacted Cornforth Lock and Safe to work on the north double doors of the terminal building. They found the lock was broken inside one of the doors. That was fixed and it is now working. Some other repairs including a couple of door handles on the South Share Hangar were fixed. The repairs cost less than $500.
The cabling system is a problem on the North Share Hangar doors, but the company that made those is no longer in business. Courson reported the urinal in the men's bathroom was clogged. He had to order new gaskets and a flush kit, but it is now working.
A spray rig that would fit on a gator would cost around $1,000 to $2,000 said Courson. He asked the commission members about buying a rig and maybe borrowing a gator to spray weeds. There was discussion about hiring a commercial business to spray, but Courson said that would probably cost too much. Several ideas were suggested, including aerial spraying from a plane, but no decisions were reached.
Pointing to the airport office, Courson said, "I don't know what that glass partition is for, but I don't like it." The partition separates the office from the lobby. Courson complained that he can't see through the glass to the lobby because of glare from the west office windows. He also can't hear anybody in the lobby and has to walk around to reply to people trying to talk to him.
Kinzie said the partition was put up so the office part of the building could be locked up at night when unattended. It was also a sound barrier for talking on the phone. Logsdon commented that a real thief could just knock the glass in.
Courson said if allowed, he'd remove the glass right away. Kinzie said, "Go for it."
With budget meetings being held during the week, Kinzie asked Courson if he had anything to add to the list of needs for capital expenditures. Courson said he'd like to get a 17-inch deck mower which would cost around $13,700 to $14,000. Logsdon said they also need to get a truck chassis for the fuel truck.
A video of the meeting may be viewed at http://www.AlvaReviewCourier.com.